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MERS Responds to Essex Co., Mass. Announcement Company in compliance with purpose and intent of state recording acts

MERS Responds to Essex Co., Mass. Announcement Company in compliance with purpose and intent of state recording acts


MERS Responds to Essex Co., Mass. Announcement
Company in compliance with purpose and intent of
state recording acts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karmela Lejarde
703-761-1274

Reston, Virginia Feb. 25, 2011—MERS has not received any direct legal communication regarding Mr. O’Brien’s February 22, 2011 announcement. The use of MERS is in compliance with the purpose and intent of the state recording acts. MERS intends to fully defend itself against these unfounded allegations.

It is not the case that recording fees are somehow owed or outstanding. All MERS mortgages are recorded in the public land records, and MERS members pay recording fees when the mortgage is recorded. Fees are paid for a service performed, and if a document is eliminated because it is no longer necessary, no fee is due because there is nothing to record. We believe it is wrong and unethical to seek money for services that were never rendered, and in fact, MERS greatly reduces the workload of county recorders, resulting in lower operating expenses for the county recorder’s office. Moreover, it would be the borrower who ultimately pays the costs of recording assignments, either directly or indirectly.

When MERS is the mortgagee, the mortgage is recorded at the county land records, thereby putting the public on notice that there is a lien on the property. The MERS® System also complements the county land records by providing additional information that was never intended to be recorded at the county level, namely the information about the mortgage loan servicer, and now, with the addition of MERS® InvestorID, the name of the investor.

– 30 –

source: MERS

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O’BRIEN CALLS ON MERS TO COME CLEAN AND PAY UP: SAYS ESSEX COUNTY OWED $22 MILLION DOLLARS

O’BRIEN CALLS ON MERS TO COME CLEAN AND PAY UP: SAYS ESSEX COUNTY OWED $22 MILLION DOLLARS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Salem, MA
February 22nd 2011

Contact:
Kevin Harvey, 1st Assistant Register
978-542-1724
kevin.harvey@sec.state.ma.us

O’BRIEN CALLS ON MERS TO COME CLEAN AND PAY UP: SAYS ESSEX COUNTY OWED $22 MILLION DOLLARS

Essex South Register of Deeds John O’Brien announced today that he will be seeking over $22 million dollars from the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, “MERS” which represents several major banking conglomerates.  O’Brien bases the $22M number on the fact that the Salem registry has recorded over 148,663 MERS mortgages since 1998.  After a careful review of a number of these mortgages O’Brien said it became very clear to him that MERS had assigned mortgages to other entities at least twice without paying a recording fee.  Based on this information the taxpayers have been defrauded out of $22,299,450 in Southern Essex County alone.  It is quite possible that in some cases they may have assigned the notes more than twice resulting in even greater loss of revenue. O’Brien called MERS “one of the greediest schemes ever perpetrated on the American people.  They have compromised the integrity of the public land recordation system and in doing so, have wreaked havoc on our economy”.

Last week MERS announced a major policy change conceding that assignments should be recorded in the various Registries across the country and “assignments out of MERS’s name should be recorded in the county land records, even if the state law does not require such a recording.” In addition MERS instructed its members to “not foreclose in MERS name”. O’Brien further states “MERS has now finally acknowledged that their business model was flawed, and they didn’t adhere to the legal requirement that all assignments of a mortgage must be recorded at the local Registry of Deeds.”  “If they had followed the law the public would know who was buying and selling their mortgage, and it would have been an open, honest and transparent process.  The fact that they deliberately chose to create a for-profit private cyber Registry of Deeds whose only purpose was to avoid paying the same fees as everyone else and keeping the public in the dark as to who was the rightful owner of the mortgage clearly demonstrates to me that this was a scheme of epic proportions.”  “When Wall Street and these major lenders joined together in creating MERS, they plunged us into a housing nightmare with little or no regard for their actions.  It’s obvious that their only motivation was to manufacture huge profits off the backs of homeowners and taxpayers. They should all be ashamed of themselves and step up to the plate and do the honorable thing and make the taxpayers’ whole,” O’Brien said.

The Essex South Registry of Deeds is one of 21 Registries in Massachusetts which have recorded MERS mortgages .O’Brien estimates that based on his conservative estimate of two assignments per mortgage the Commonwealth may be owed statewide upwards of $200 million dollars in lost recording fees.  Nationwide, the amount of revenue lost could be in the billions. O’Brien is calling on MERS to come clean and inform the registers of deeds across the country as to the number of times they assigned mortgages to other entities.  Only then will we get a true picture of the economic impact that this fraud has had on our country.

O’Brien, who in November, 2010, notified Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley about MERS, will now be forwarding to her this additional information. “We need to act quickly to recover these funds,” O’Brien said.

[ipaper docId=49355778 access_key=key-ov8013p1bz75wu9pdyi height=600 width=600 /]

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AG Coakley Following Up On Essex County’s O’Brien’s MERS Inquiry

AG Coakley Following Up On Essex County’s O’Brien’s MERS Inquiry


Firm may skirt millions in property fees

Attorney general, others probe system created by lenders

By Jenifer B. McKim Globe Staff / December 15, 2010

Attorney General Martha Coakley is trying to determine whether a lender-created company that tracks mortgage loan data has failed to pay millions of dollars in property recording fees in Massachusetts.

Coakley is taking aim at the little-known but powerful Reston, Va., company whose members include Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase, and other major lenders.

The company, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., oversees a database of about 31 million mortgages, about half of the active loans in the United States.

As concern about foreclosure practices mounts across the country, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems is increasingly being questioned by regulators, lawyers, and housing advocates about the way it operates.

Essex County’s register of deeds, John L. O’Brien Jr., last month asked Coakley to investigate the company, known as MERS. He said that by using its own database for property transfers, MERS does not pay recording fees or disclose the transactions, as Massachusetts law requires.

O’Brien estimated that in Essex County alone, $10 million was lost over the past decade because MERS failed to pay a $75 fee each time a mortgage was transferred between lenders.

“They created their own registry of deeds,’’ he said. “They have to record these assignments. The taxpayers deserve these fees.’’

A spokeswoman for Coakley said her office is looking at the issues O’Brien raised.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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MA Secretary Galvin to File Bill Requiring Court Approval on Foreclosures, Register O’Brien Agrees

MA Secretary Galvin to File Bill Requiring Court Approval on Foreclosures, Register O’Brien Agrees


Bill calls for court OK to foreclose

Galvin says reviews would clarify titles, protect homeowners

“You aren’t going to straighten out the economy of the state until this housing thing gets figured out.” — William F. Galvin, Secretary of state

By Jenifer B. McKim
Globe Staff / December 6, 2010

Secretary of State William F. Galvin plans to submit a bill next month that would force Massachusetts mortgage lenders to get court approval before seizing homes, in an effort to protect homeowners and address concerns about how foreclosures are conducted.

Galvin said he will revive a proposal that state lawmakers rejected two years ago because of new questions about the validity of titles for foreclosed properties — an issue housing specialists say is hampering the state’s real estate market.

“Unless we do something to clean up the titles in these properties we are going to have a big continued problem,’’ Galvin said. “You aren’t going to straighten out the economy of the state until this housing thing gets figured out.’’

Massachusetts is one of 27 states that do not require foreclosures to be reviewed by a judge.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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County Register of Deeds Picks Fight with MERS

County Register of Deeds Picks Fight with MERS


Richard Zombeck

Richard Zombeck

Eyes and Ears Mortgage Specialist and ShametheBanks.org Founder

Posted: November 29, 2010 01:31 PM
.

About a week ago, John O’Brien, Register of Deeds in Essex County Massachusetts, sent a letter to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley asking that she look into whether MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.) failed to pay legally required recording fees in Massachusetts when a MERS-mortgage is assigned to another entity, like a trust or a bank.

MERS is a privately held company that operates an electronic registry designed to track servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans in the United States.

MERS has seen a lot of attention of late because of the number of robo-signing cases popping up at banks and mortgage servicers. MERS has no employees, it simply assigns and designates an estimated 20,000 unpaid VPs and officersrecent testimony before Congress. around the country as certifying officers to sign off on mortgage transfers, foreclosures, and assignments, according to R.K. Arnold, President and CEO of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., in a

The recording fees Essex County has missed out on as a result of MERS purportedly bypassing normal recording channels was O’Brien’s primary concern.

In his November 18 letter to Attorney General Coakley, O’Brien wrote, “I am writing to ask that you investigate and provide me with an official opinion as to whether or not the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) has failed to pay the proper recording fees required under Massachusetts statute when a lender assigns a mortgage to another entity.”


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